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Settlement reached after lottery winner's death

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

As the mysterious cyanide poisoning case of a million-dollar Illinois lottery winner continues, there's been a settlement in his probate case.

It started as a classic lottery story. Once upon a time, an immigrant dry cleaner bought a lottery scratch card and won a cool million dollars. But the fairytale ended when Urooj Khan collapsed and died before cashing the state check, and the medical examiner found it was a homicide by cyanide.

Amidst the family finger-pointing, a homicide investigation continues, but one part of the sordid case is settled: Khan's estate in Cook County probate court.

Urooj Khan's widow will receive one-third of the lottery winnings under the settlement terms of the Cook County probate case. The agreements calls for his Khan's daughter to get two-thirds of the lottery proceeds.

"She gets to keep her commercial properties and the business, and she gets to keep her primary home, as well as all of the vehicles. She wanted to put it behind her. So, I don't think either party is going to be completely happy about it. But I think both parties decided it was best to put the litigation behind them and close this and move forward," said Al-Haroon Husain, widow's attorney.

Who killed Urooj Khan is still an open question. The settlement bars both widow and daughter from pursuing wrongful death lawsuits unless one of them ends up charged or new evidence is provided by authorities.

The medical examiner turned the death case into a homicide case last March when his autopsy confirmed that Khan's corpse contained a lethal dose of cyanide. No charges have been filed in the case.

"She knows what happened as far as his death and the cyanide, but she really has no idea how it happened. She's going to keep moving along with her husband's business, which she is operating now. And try to hopefully make it even more successful than he had it. I think both parties just want to put it behind them and not think about this anymore," said Husain.

The widow was questioned by authorities shortly after her husband's death, but her attorney says she has not been summoned lately. Attorneys for other family members declined to discuss the case.

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